Sondland: Zelensky Only Had to Announce Biden Investigations, ‘Didn’t Actually Have to Do Them’


Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified today that it was his understanding that while the President of Ukraine had to announce the investigations being sought by Rudy Giuliani and President Donald Trump, Ukraine didn’t necessarily need to do them.

House Intel Committee chair Adam Schiff asked Sondland, with respect to a President Volodymyr Zelensky White House meeting, “You testified that that meeting was conditioned, was a quid pro quo, for what the brought president wanted these two investigations?”

“Correct,” Sondland said.

“In order to perform that official act, Donald Trump wanted these two investigations that would help his re-election campaign, correct?” Schiff asked.

“I can’t characterize why he wanted them. All I can tell you is this is what we heard from Mr. Guiliani,” Sondland responded.

“But he had to get those two investigations if that official act was going to take place, correct?” Schiff followed up.

“He had to announce the investigations. He didn’t actually have to do them, as I understood it,” Sondland said.

Minutes later, Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman went back to those comments when he asked, “For Mr. Giuliani, by this point, you understood that in order to get that White House meeting, that you wanted President Zelensky to have and that President Zelensky desperately wanted to have, that Ukraine would have to initiate these two investigations. Is that right?”

“Well, they would have to announce that they were going to do it,” Sondland said.

“Right. Because Giuliani and President Trump didn’t actually care if they did them, right?” Goldman asked.

“I never heard, Mr. Goldman, anyone say that the investigations had to start or had to be completed,” Sondland said. “The only thing I heard from Mr. Giuliani or otherwise was that they had to be announced in some form and that form kept changing.”

Goldman noted how there would be “political benefits” from such a public announcement. Sondland responded, “The way it was expressed to me was that the Ukrainians had a long history of committing to things privately and then never following through, so President Trump, presumably, again communicated through Mr. Giuliani, wanted the Ukrainians on record publicly that they were going to do these investigations.”

Goldman asked, “You never heard anyone say that they really wanted them to do the investigations, just that they wanted to announce…”

“I didn’t hear either way,” Sondland said.

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac